Note: This page was accidentally posted in the wrong place. This is really intended to help people who need to create communications materials for older adults, but who don't necessarily have a lot of experience doing so.
On a daily basis, the Aging and Disability Networks address issues of how best to communicate with individuals. Health literacy, cultural competency, and meeting the needs of persons with limited English proficiency must be considered to ensure effective communications.
To help you better meet these everyday challenges, this page offers information on the following topics:
- General communication principles
- Health literacy
- Plain language
- Website design and new media
General Communication Principles
The principles for communicating with the public apply to all ages. Some of the federal resources available include:
- Making Health Communication Programs Work (PDF Book) - National Cancer Institute
- Health Communication and Social Marketing Tools (Website) - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Health literacy means being able to find, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Health literacy is important because low health literacy is linked to poor health outcomes.
- Quick Guide to Health Literacy (PDF) - HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
- Health Literacy Improvement Tools (Website) - HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
- Relevance of Health Literacy to Aging and Disability Resource Centers (MS Word) - ADRC Technical Assistance Exchange
Plain language is communication that an audience can understand the first time they read or hear it. Language that is plain to one set of readers may not be plain to others. Written material is in plain language if your audience can:
- Find what they need;
- Understand what they find; and
- Use what they find to meet their needs.
PlainLanguage.gov (Website) - Plain Language Action and Information Network
Federal Plain Language Guidelines (Webpage) - PlainLanguage.gov
Plain Language Tips and Tools (Webpage) - PlainLanguage.gov
Website Design and New Media
- Making Websites More Accessible for Users Who are Older and/or have a Disability (MS Word) - ADRC Technical Assistance Exchange
- New Media Basics (Website) - AIDS.gov
- Social Media Tools, Guidelines, and Best Practices (Website) - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention